Priyanka, your name is not Khan
Chopra might want to model her autistic character in Barfee on that of Shah Rukh's in MNIK, but her director says, nothing doing. In fact, he wants a more layered performance
While there has been much news about Priyanka Chopra's growing friendship with her Don 2 co-star Shah Rukh Khan, according to sources, this newfound fondness almost spilt into her professional life too.
In her upcoming film Barfee, where the actress plays the role of a woman suffering from autism, and which many tout as the role that will establish her as Bollywood's top actress, Chopra reportedly looked up to Khan's performance in My Name Is Khan as a reference point. Since its release, reactions to Khan's performance have been mixed, with some calling it enjoyable and many others over-the-top. According to sources, the actress had modeled her performance on that of Khan's to such a degree that the director Anurag Basu stepped in and got three girls who suffer from the condition to come to the sets and interact with Chopra.
According to a source, Chopra had to do away Khan's tips on how to play the character. "Priyanka had decided to use the Khan model, until Anurag suggested a completely different, far more difficult, layered and complex approach to play the role. She had to unlearn and start from scratch."
When contacted, Basu played down the incident. "We decided against following Shah Rukh's performance in My Name Is Khan. It was just a healthy give-and-take of ideas. If I'm not mistaken Shah Rukh played a character suffering from Asperger's syndrome. Priyanka plays a very different autistic character. We didn't want her performance to be in your face. I introduced her to people who suffer from that strain of autism that I wanted to project."
According to sources, plans are afoot to use Chopra's celebrity status to create more awareness about the disorder.